Young woman fights back against alleged carjackers who pistol-whipped her in Michigan parking lot: ‘Something in me snapped’

A young woman decided to fight back against would-be carjackers who pistol-whipped her and was able to get them arrested after she chased them down in her flip-flops.

Michigan police said the incident unfolded in the parking lot of a Target store on Pardee Road in the city of Taylor at about 4:50 p.m. on Monday.

Rachel Smiglewski told WXYZ-TV that she was sitting in her boyfriend’s car when the attempted carjackers appeared at her window wearing surgical masks and threatening her with a gun.

“I was just baffled and so scared,” said the 24-year-old.

She said she tried to call 911, but one of the thugs smacked the phone away and then hit her face with the gun. She said she could feel the blood spurting from her face when he put the gun to her head.

‘You just get sick of it, and I’m not going to let anyone do that to me anymore.’

Although she complied with their demands and handed over her car keys, she said that something took over her at that moment and she decided to fight back.

“All of a sudden, something snapped in me and I was like, ‘You know what? No, I’m not going to let this happen to me. This is not going to happen,'” she said.

Smiglewski said she started yelling for help and slamming her hands on the roof of the car. People in the parking lot began calling police. Although the assailants still had her keys, they ran away from the spectacle she was causing.

So, she pursued them.

“I chased after them. We ran the whole parking lot and I was wearing flip-flops. Then I lost my shoes, so my feet are all cut up,” she said.

‘I was back ready to fight all three of them.’

Smiglewski said that she realized they were not very big physically and got prepared to fight them.

“I was back ready to fight all three of them because they look like they were scrawny little teenagers,” she said.

One of the assailants threw the keys at her as they ran away. Police said that they ran into a BJ’s restaurant, and the employees called police to let them know the suspects were hiding in their bathroom.

Police said they arrested three teenagers aged between 14 and 18 years old. They also said they were able to recover a 9mm Glock. Police said they believed the two juveniles and the man had been playing basketball before they missed a bus to Detroit and decided to try to carjack someone.

When asked what motivated her to fight back, Smiglewski said it was that she was fed up with people taking advantage of her.

“I’ve had everybody walk all over me and take advantage of me for years and years,” she said. “You just get sick of it, and I’m not going to let anyone do that to me anymore.”

Smiglewski says on Facebook that she is a sandwich artist at Subway.

“I fought and won and am so glad to be alive and not shot dead over some car,” she wrote in the post.

Taylor is a city of about 64,000 residents in the southeast part of Michigan.

WXYZ disabled its video for other websites, but the interview with Smiglewski can be watched directly on YouTube.


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